The award-winning Mustangs built by Ringbrothers in Spring Green. Wis., took Golden Builder Awards at the Hot Rod & Restoration Show. Mike and Jim Ring are known for making dream machines. While Ford “pony cars” aren’t the only type they work on, their Mustang-based Reactor, Dragon and Kona Resto-Mods have put them on the national map as top builders.
Special billet hardware on their car’s showcases the abilities of Prime Components, the in-house CNC shop that Todd Milanowski has put together at Ringbrothers. The front part of the facility—actually the old family body shop—is filled with parts and accessories that RingBrothers now ships all over the world.
The Reactor had more than 70 custom-machined parts including side vents, a complete air-induction system, export bracing, hinges, gas cap, taillight bezels and “diffuser” type exhaust tips. It was featured In magazines and on TV and in Build Book #5 (www.buildbookusa.com) that traces the step-by-step build.
Clete Ring, the Patriarch of the family, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and had several jobs before buying the Skelly gas station in Plain, Wis., in 1954. His four daughters and three sons include Mike and younger brother Jim. Mike also traveled the world in the Navy, before starting a body shop with Jim, who says he learned body and paint by refinishing a ’71 Cadillac deVille sedan with a gallon of Sky Blue lacquer from a hardware store.
Ringbrothers headquarters is a steel building in a small Wisconsin village. With a total of 8,600 sq. ft. of working space, the building is larger than, but similar to many local dent-and-ding shops. It is constructed like two separate buildings joined together. The CNC parts manufacturing, warehousing and marketing is located in the front. Resto-Mods are built in the rear shop section.
Jim and Mike Ring consider the Mustang an automotive icon and don’t take the job of designing and assembling Resto-Mod versions lightly. Each project starts with design sketches that help them get a solid concept on paper. Designers, builders and owners share ideas and the team starts working. Some owners get involved and others leave all creative work up to the professionals.
When a build gets into gear, nothing is done halfway. Cars are completely disassembled, blasted clean of dirt, paint and corrosion and reconstructed from the ground up with countless modifications. The machinists in the CNC shop can turn the parts the designers dream up into cold reality. In many cases, a new part will later be mass-produced and offered as a Prime Components product.